Little People have BIG Feelings
In mid-November we moved “home” to Sydney after a 16 month stint in Melbourne. My husband and I really looked forward to returning to our good friends and the house we had worked hard to renovate over a 5 year period but had literally completed the night before we rented it out. I figured Miss 11 months wouldn’t be too fazed by the move but I did feel concerned about Miss 3. In her world Melbourne was home, she couldn’t recall ever living in Sydney or having Sydney friends. In Melbourne she had her 2 cousins up the road, lovely day care friends and one very special “best friend”.
Moving to Melbourne had been a big upheaval for her, followed by the arrival of her baby sister, and now we were on the move again. Anytime I spoke of my concern for her and wondered aloud how to best help her with the transition the response was always “Kids are resilient … they adapt easily … don’t worry about it”
I agree that children are resilient and adapt … goodness I moved enough in my early childhood to prove that … but I always felt that this response was minimising my concerns and in someway saying that I was silly to be worried.
Little People may not have the words to describe their feelings.
As I write this we have been back in Sydney for 6 weeks. In many ways the transition has been smooth but I am aware that for Miss 3 this is hard. I think until she starts at her new childcare centre and can form new friendships it will be hard for her.
- More clingy and emotional than usual
- She is biting her nails
- She has started to wet the bed at night again
- She is acting out more than usual
- And every 10 days or so she comes to me and says “Mummy, we have been HERE a long time, I think we should go back to our Melbourne house”
I know that in 6 months time she will have found her groove here in Sydney and we can tick the “kids adapt well” box. At 3 she doesn’t know how to express or process all of the things she feels so I feel a little sad to know she is feeling a little sad too. In this moment, right here and now, she needs me as her mother to provide stability, security and love and to ensure whatever feelings she has are recognised.
Of course she will adapt, and I know she is resilient but right now she is a little person with big feelings.
Linda Anderson is the founder of Mums on the Go www.mumsonthego.com.au , an online child-friendly directory covering Sydney and Melbourne. She is Mum to 2 girls and is expecting her third child in 2012. Linda has a long history of supporting and empowering people – particularly mums – all across Australia.